Cities to unite and create integrated economic zone

By Yuan Shenggao (China Daily)

Updated: 2022-01-28


Delegates to the sixth session of the 13th Shanxi People's Congress in discussion. [Photo by Shi Xiaobo for China Daily]

The integration of Taiyuan and Xinzhou-two cities in central Shanxi province-will gain momentum with the 70-kilometer-long Taiyuan-Xinzhou Avenue scheduled to be in place this year.

This is according to the government work report delivered by Shanxi Governor Lan Fo'an at the sixth session of the 13th Shanxi People's Congress and the fifth session of the Shanxi People's Political Consultative Conference held in Taiyuan on Jan 19-23.

In the report, Lan required construction of the avenue to be completed this year. He called this project a landmark and pilot facility for the urban integration program that was proposed in 2021.

In March 2021, the State Council released a guideline for the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-25), requiring Shanxi to foster a city cluster in its central region.

Grasping this historic opportunity, the Shanxi Committee of the Communist Party of China and the Shanxi provincial government proposed a plan to promote the development of Taiyuan-Xinzhou Integrated Economic Zone in the month that followed.

The Promotional Center for the Development of the Taiyuan-Xinzhou Integrated Economic Zone was founded on Dec 29, marking when the operation of the zone began officially.

The zone's two operational centers in Taiyuan and Xinzhou were established on Dec 29 and 30 respectively.

According to the plan, it will comprise a number of economic zones and industrial parks in the two cities. They include Zhongbei High-Tech Zone and Yangqu Industrial Park in Taiyuan, and Xinzhou Economic Zone and Yuanping Economic and Technological Development Zone in Xinzhou.

The Taiyuan-Xinzhou integrated zone is designed to host industries relocated from the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, where an integrated regional development plan is in place.

The integrated economic zone in Shanxi will mobilize resources in both cities to build industrial clusters centering on new materials and advanced equipment manufacturing, and foster new engines for the province's economic development, according to the plan.

Wei Tao, Party secretary of Taiyuan, said authorities of both Taiyuan and Xinzhou will work out "a unified plan and a unified organization" to ensure the smooth operation of the zone.

Road connectivity will be highlighted at the early stage of the zone's development.

According to local officials, in addition to the Taiyuan-Xinzhou Avenue, a total of 3,800 km of roads will be built over four years to link the various industrial parks within the integrated economic zone.

With respect to its connectivity to the rest of the country, a high-speed railway and a freight rail line to link Xinzhou and Xiong'an New Area in Hebei province have been planned.

Guo Yanjie contributed to this story.